Websites often are the first impression someone has of your company. And that impression is important to consumers. The Stanford Credibility Web Project found 46.1% of participants based company credibility on the visual design of the site.
Consumers pay attention to visual cues over content. If your website doesn’t have the right impact, you lose potential customers.
Every business needs a website because people shop online. In 2016, 209.6 million people compared prices, window-shopped or bought products online at least once. It’s predicted the number of online shoppers will jump to 230.5 million by 2021.
Don’t you want to sell where potential customers shop? When you invest in a professional website you get back more than the average website cost. The value is more than any invoiced amount.
Let’s review the price to build a website. Then, we’ll show how long it takes to recover the cost.
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How Much Does the Average Website Cost?
The price of your website depends on the design, size, and complexity. There isn’t an average price. A complex site with e-commerce costs more than a site with 10 straight-forward pages and a blog.
The first step is to decide on a budget. How much money can you dedicate to a new website or the redesign of an existing one? The cost can vary between $3,000 and $15,000. That’s a wide range, so let’s look at what you get for the price.
What Type of Website Do You Need?
Below are short descriptions of types of websites. An online business brochure is the least expensive. A custom-built complex website costs the most.
Online Business Brochure
This is a simple website that gives customers information about your business. It includes details on your staff, products, and contact information. There’s usually a blog to cover topics related to your industry.
The site can include photos and descriptions of your products and services. Think doctors, dentists, and hair salons. You show the services, but don’t sell them online. You can reach millions of people with an informational website.
The site costs a few thousand dollars.
If you want to sell products online, you need an e-commerce website. Millions of small businesses sell their merchandise in physical stores and online. Some only sell online.
E-commerce cuts the overhead cost of a brick and mortar storefront.
Portfolio or Informational Website
If your business has a lot of products or services you need more than an online brochure. You need a place to showcase your goods. A complicated business needs a website that’s a resource center for customers.
A landscape company could include information on native plants and how to care for them. A building contractor specializing in historic homes could describe the architecture and show examples. The website could include e-commerce.
Complex Website Design
A complex website is the most expensive option. It has more pages and functionality than the other types. If you need log-in features for employees and customers, and user dashboards, it’s a complex design. It may have e-commerce, informational resources, a blog, and other features.
You can buy applications that give your website the functionality you want. A plug and play option for a membership portal or payment calculator saves money.
In other situations, only a custom program can get the results you want. A custom website design costs more and requires expert knowledge.
Your domain name is your address on the Internet. It tells people where to find you. You can get a free domain name, but they look less professional. Compare YourCompanyName.com to YourCompanyName.WordPress.com.
An available domain name costs about $12 per year to register. Most are in the $10 to $50 range. You renew it every year.
It’s inexpensive, but it’s one of the most important decisions related to your site. The domain name influences your brand in the same way your company name does.
If you have a unique business name it may be easy to buy a coordinated web address. Popular domain names will be unavailable or very expensive. If the name you want is in high demand it could cost $5,000.
Now that you have a domain name you need a place to put it. That place is a website hosting platform. Like other aspects of your new site, all hosting platforms are not the same. The average cost varies. Don’t go cheap.
Look for features that improve performance. A robust, reliable hosting platform provides daily backups, uptime monitoring, Google integration, and data restoration.
Theme and Template
You have a domain name and a place to put it. Now you need a website theme. Search the web and you’ll find plenty of themes. Some are free, others you buy.
The template determines your layout. A blog template is different than a portfolio template. The template code lives inside the theme. Themes give different content the same style. If you revise the code for your theme, then all the templates update.
Spend money on your theme. Remember potential customers judge your site on your looks. A premium website theme and template offer good visuals plus solid coding.
When you buy a custom website them you work with a professional website designer. The designer takes your ideas and transforms them into your ideal site. Don’t settle for an off the shelf theme that isn’t exactly what you want or need. Find a professional website designer to create your ideal online presence.
Free and Paid Plugins
A plugin is software that adds functionality. Look for free and paid plugins to enhance your website with additional functionality. A plugin adds features like e-commerce, custom forms, and upcoming events.
If you can take your own top quality images, do it. Otherwise, you must find images to make your website appealing. For lifestyle images, try a stock photography vendor. You can find both free and paid stock photography. Make sure all images are royalty-free.
If you need specific product shots, hire a photographer. Use a graphic designer for special visual effects.
Never take photos from another source and use them on your site without permission. It’s copyright infringement and theft when you take images that aren’t yours.
Maintenance and Site Updates
No, you’re not done yet. Along with initial launch costs, your website has ongoing expenses. These include:
- Website hosting
- Domain name renewal
- Software updates
- Current content
When you set your initial budget include monthly expenses. Assign blog and website content creation to an employee or vendor. Either way, make sure your website stays up-to-date so it ranks in search engine results.
Recoup Website Costs Fast
Match your expenses to your budget and needs, and you’ll recoup the cost of your website immediately.
A well-built website means customers find you when they search for your products. An attractive and useful site builds consumer trust and loyalty. Boom. You have a customer.
The Pew Research Center reports 8 out of 10 consumers shop online. That means the best way to reach your target audience is to provide a great online experience.
Yes, the average website costs need an initial expense of time and money. But the return on investment is an immediate way to reach consumers.
If you’re ready to launch a killer company website, contact me today!